My mother Mary came to visit for Frankie's first birthday in 2011, and has made it an annual tradition, coming every fall. She came a week earlier last year, due to a schedule conflict, and got to participate in Halloween festivities, including pumpkin carving and trick-or-treating. That worked out really well, so we did the same thing again this year. Obviously any nice visit must include hiking. Of course! We walked a portion of the Morningside Cultural Trail one day, at Frankie's insistence - he loves the "secret stairs" behind the community gardens and the water towers, and wanted to show them off. That turned out to be a fine adventure, since neither Mary or Erin (or Alden!) had been up there before. We also hiked at Clark Reservation. Today we wanted to meet up with Erin and Alden again, so decided on Beaver Lake. It is a good place this time of year, since we don't have to worry about hunters, and closer to her house than some potential destinations.
The trails at the nature center are all wide and surfaced with bark mulch, easy to follow and not too muddy. Because he likes boardwalks so much, many hikes with Frankie at Beaver Lake involve the Bog and Hemlock Hollow Trails. I was delighted today to head out on the Deep Woods Trail. It winds out away from the parking lot, passing through hardwoods, a spruce plantation, and mixed forests before looping back along the lake shore. So pretty!
The weather was unseasonably mild, with the most amazing light suffusing the forest with a golden glow. Determined as always to be the "first trail-er", Frankie did a lot of running ahead. Occasionally my Mom or I would humor him with a chase, but we were overdressed for running, so didn't indulge too much. About midway through our hike, the weather changed and it became extremely windy, like trees-might-blow-over-on-us-at-any-moment windy. A branch did crash down startlingly close to Erin and Alden, but mercifully no one was struck. Poor Frankie kept yelling at the wind to stop blowing (obviously with no effect). I had been thinking we might hike another trail, since the Deep Woods Trail is only 1.4 miles and we were having so much fun, but once the wind got so crazy, I knew that wasn't in the cards. After Erin and Alden headed home, we went inside and Frankie played in the kids room. Another great day in the woods!
|Photo by Mary|
|Resting after running up a hill|
|Still running ahead...|
|witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana)|
|Yelling at the wind to stop blowing|
|Saying goodbye to Alden|
|Download trail map here or here.|